Dallas Wings ‘Believe it More’ Despite Season-Ending Game 3 Loss

Dallas Wings 'Believe it More' Despite Season-Ending Game 3 Loss

The Dallas Wings’ season is over after losing their series-clinching Game 3 matchup, 73-58, against the Connecticut Sun on Wednesday.

The first-round series between the Sun and Wings was full of double-digit wins, with no win being more impressive than Connecticut’s 15 point Game 3 win. The Sun put on a defensive clinic after they held the Wings a season-low final score of 58 points, including holding Dallas to 22 points on 6-27 shooting from the field during the secone half. Connecticut also forced Dallas to commit 11 turnovers during the final 20 minutes of Wednesday’s contest.

“I think the biggest thing they learned is they’re very good,” Johnson said per ESPN. “I told them when Arike went out to just believe in themselves. Play together, play with energy and effort, and that’s what we did.”

Dallas’ troubles began after Isabelle Harrison suffered an ankle injury in the first quarter that was severe enough to make Dallas hold her out for the remainder of the game. Not even Arike Ogunbowale’s short-lived return from abdominal surgery could spark Dallas’ stagnant offense. The former national champ went scoreless in six minutes, going 0-3 from the field and 0-2 from beyond the arc.

The loss led to interesting postgame introspection from Dallas, specifically from Marina Mabrey and Veronica Burton about the culture and the kind of team that the Wings are looking to build.

“I feel like we’re growing here in Dallas,” Mabrey (team-high 20 points) said. “We had so many fans and they’re always so supportive. They know we gave it our all, we put our hearts in it so they’re always super proud of us and I can’t thank them enough from our whole team.”

Sentiments that Burton echoed, going on to say that the fans “supporting us means the world” and the Wings appreicate the consistency of the fans in the building too.

The Wings have now made their first back-to-back playoff appearence since 2017-2018 where they lost in the first round to the Mystics and Mercury, respectively. After consecutive stinging losses to end their season, Dallas will look to make the next step towards winning a playoff series, than on to becoming a Finals threat. The Wings haven’t won a WNBA title since moving from Detroit to Tulsa and now Dallas as of 2016.

The original Detroit Shock franchise won three titles during the 2000s, taking home the Finals Trophy in 2003, 2006, and 2008.

“When you see yourself do something, you believe it more,” Mabrey said. “Not that we didn’t believe before but watching this horn go off and winning in COnnecticut, (it’s) just a confidence booster. Now we know we can do it and (now) it’s back to work.”

“We played a veteran team that’s lost plenty of times, they won so they know exactly what it feels like, they know exactly what to do with their backs gainst the wall and we lacked that a litle bit so that’s okay. It comes with experience so take the good with the bad.”

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